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Biodegradable Dish Scrubbie Eases My Eco-Guilt
Emily Gertz, 2 Mar 06

sandclean.jpg Sometimes it's the little things. Sure -- it's gotten easy to find great coffee that's organic, bird-friendly, and Fair Trade in the average U.S. town or city, and the rBGH-free organic milk to drink it with. But what are the options to clean the coffee stains off of my mug? Usually some plastic scrubbie or abrasive pad -- which I'll have to throw away eventually. Contemplating that little scrubbie's carbon-emission-intensive journey to some landfill three states away, where it will join gajillions of other throwaway plastic whatsits in eternal unbiodegradable rest, is painful enough to keep my mugs looking dingy.

Enter the Sandclean, a biodegradable scrubbie. "Lasts a long time and does not break, tear or shed pieces which might otherwise remain on dishes or get into food...will not rust or hurt your hands like steel wool. Works great on tea or coffee stains in teapots and cups!" Sounds great! And it even comes in two grits for mild or tough cleaning jobs.

The Sandclean scrubbie isn't exactly cheap at $7.50 a pop. But it'll be nice to have stain-free cups without consigning another plastic scrubbie to the landfill.

(thanks, Patrick)

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You could just use a tawashi - which have been around for a long time.

Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 2 Mar 06

In my experience, these are great for some things, not scrubby enough for others.

Posted by: Emily Gertz on 2 Mar 06

"In my experience, these are great for some things, not scrubby enough for others."

Huh - I've never felt that way. I tend to use mine primarily on iron cookware, since I don't use any soap with the tawashi. I can't remember a single time that a long soak in water and a the tawashi were insufficient for a job.

My problem with it is it's too scrubby for things like finer glassware and nonstick (non-iron) pans.

Maybe I'll give that Sandclean thing a whirl sometime soon and put it to the Chef Joe test. :)

Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 2 Mar 06

Looks like a neat product. I stopped using steel wool and started using baking soda. Still need to use a sponge or a plastic brush (or sometimes my hand), so the problem isn't totally solved, but at least less chemicals are going into the water.

Posted by: Jamie O'Keefe on 3 Mar 06

Joseph -- we'll have to have a scrub-off and see what wins!

It does look like a neat product, doesn't it? I confess I'm charmed by the tribble-ish appearance of the thing.

Posted by: Emily Gertz on 3 Mar 06

Plain old loofah's work well too.

Posted by: pam on 3 Mar 06

Loofah -- that's a good idea, too.

Posted by: Emily Gertz on 5 Mar 06



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